ASCI's Consumer Complaints Council upholds complaints against 12 ads during March-April, 2012

By afaqs! news bureau , afaqs!, Mumbai | In Advertising | May 16, 2012
Complaints against Euro Fashion Inners, Vodafone, Pernod Ricard and Dainik Jagran were upheld. Complaints against TV ads reduce as complaints against print ads continue.

During March and April 2012, the Consumer Complaints Council (CCC) of the Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) upheld complaints against 12 advertisements, most of them part of the healthcare and personal hygiene sector. During the same time, the CCC did not uphold complaints made against 12 advertisements.

Euro Fashion Inners received complaints against its print advertisement published across newspapers in the country. As per the complaint, the advertisement showed "Naked men holding cockerels against their pelvic region while asking 'what's your size?'" This advertisement was seen as obscene and seriously offensive to public decency. The CCC concluded that the advertisement was indecent, vulgar and repulsive, and likely to cause grave or widespread offence. The complaint against the advertisement was upheld and the advertiser was asked to stop the campaign.


Vodafone, which is usually known for its excellent taste in advertising, was under the radar in April for its TVC which depicted school-going kids getting attracted towards each other and falling in love. The CCC concluded that the sexualised subtext of young teens being attracted to one another was likely to cause grave and widespread offence. Hence, the complaint was upheld.

Pernod Ricard's print advertisement on Absolut Kher showed the visual depiction of a 'bottle' which is suggestive of a well known brand of liquor product - Absolut. The CCC concluded that the depiction of the bottle with the titles 'Absolut' was in violation of the ASCI Code as it propagated a product, the use of which is banned under the law. The complaint was upheld.

In April, two advertisements of the media house Dainik Jagran were pulled up for being false and misleading. For its claim 'Haryana mein Dainik Jagran 2 guna Dainik Bhaskar se', Dainik Jagran had used the data of readership in the city of Faridabad and implied all state leadership.

Sareen Hair Clinic's advertisement stated that 'Hair re-growth - also treatment for hair falling, baldness, alopecia, and thinning of hair'. The complaint was also upheld as CCC concluded that the advertisement is likely to mislead consumers.

Fit and Fine Slimming Centre and Beauty Clinic was under the scanner for its advertisement which claimed 'Reduce up to 5 kg, lose up to 15 inches with ultra lypolysis program, Advanced treatment free'. As the advertiser failed to provide data or supporting technical information with details of reports of tests/trials conducted by an independent recognised testing institution to substantiate these claims, the complaint was upheld.

Fair Pharma was pulled up for its advertisement that states 'Cancer - We open for you the door back to life'. The treatment given by Fair Pharma for cancer cure is not provided and the claim implies assuring consumers of curing cancer, which is a false claim.

The complaint against the advertisement of Smart Careers (BBS/BBA), which claimed 'Guaranteed College Admission', was also upheld. This claim was not backed or substantiated with data or evidence. Also, there was no validation provided by an independent agency to confirm the claim. In the absence of any proof, it was concluded that the advertisement contravened Clause 3 of the ASCI Guidelines for Advertising of Educational Institutions.

Similarly, the ad of Career Launcher (IIM Calls) was pulled up for the claim '24 YLP admits in IS' because of the absence of any verification of claims from an independent body.

Stoss Welle Healthcare was under the radar for its advertisement which stated 'Many suffer from erection related problems/pre-mature ejaculation/leakage of urine/difficulty in urination. Are you one of them? Obtain desired results with the help of latest proven state-of-the-art non-surgical Swiss Technology'. The advertiser did not provide proof, supporting clinical information, with details of reports of tests and trials conducted from independent recognised testing institutions.

The complaint against Shree Baidyanath Ayurved Bhavan's advertisement on Rheumartho Gold Capsules that stated that 'Enriched with most effective swarna bhasma and salal guggul that offered lasting relief from backache, joint pain, muscular pain etc,' was also upheld.

During the month of March, the CCC also received complaints against two advertisements of Perfetti Van Melle, and one each against Gulf Oil India, HUL's Vim detergent bar, Cadbury India's Perk, Johnson's Baby Top-To-Toe Wash, HUL's Close Up toothpaste, Parle Mango Bite, Uninor, HUL's Axe shower gel, and Tata Chemical's Tata Swach Water Purifier. As these advertisements did not contravene ASCI's codes or guidelines, the complaints were not upheld.

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